Sunday, October 15, 2006

"ELSA Y FRED"
("ELSA AND FRED")

5th Spanish Film Festival
Audience Choice
Cinema 1, Greenbelt 3

This adorable Argentinean film was chosen as the Audience Choice during the last evening of the 5th Spanish film festival.

So while the earlier Argentinean film (which I reviewed below) lacked any sense of poignancy, "Elsa & Fred" oozed with it. It is a love story set in Madrid between two elderly people. Elsa is a dreamer who seems to have a positive outlook in life and lives her life to the fullest. One day, Alfredo (Fred) moves into the next apartment. A recent widower who is a hypochondriac and prefers to keep himself isolated within the confines of his well furnished apartment. Elsa proceeds to befriend him and sets out to make him fall for her. Their encounters together are refreshingly sweet even at their advanced age. Their chemistry is sparkling even though they have opposite personalities. Elsa makes Fred live again while Fred indulges Elsa's fantasies.

The dialogue is witty and funny. The mature actors are very convincing and quite talented. They are very natural in their acting. Elsa's wardrobe is impeccably chic while Fred is a dapper well groomed gentleman with great taste. Cinematography is panoramic as we are shown scenes of Madrid as well as Rome, Italy. Plot is crisp and well scripted. It is one of those films where you can't help but go "awww" everytime there is a sweet moment unfolding between Elsa and Fred. Yet at the same time there is a tinge of sadness and melancholy because you know that Elsa and Fred don't have much time to enjoy each other's company. But on the other hand, you also rejoice that despite the time constraints, they were able to find each other in their twilight years. They made each other really happy as a couple but most importantly as individuals with still unfulfilled dreams and fantasies.

A nice feel good movie that tells us that love no matter how old we get will always make our hearts a flutter and make us smile with fondness. A very good Audience Choice if I may say so myself. An appropriate way to end this year's Spanish Film Festival. =)

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